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Very heartbroken Very heartbroken

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Unread 02-19-2008, 08:43 AM
Very heartbroken

You find out who your friends are when something like major surgery occurs! But it's difficult to determine what's really going on when someone disappoints you. Do they think it's not important enough to help, or don't they know better to offer help? You may never know. In my situation my women friends who had hysterectomies never called or offered help, which I found interesting. Was it because 1 in 3 women have hysters and it's not a big deal? One woman who had a different type of surgery, where I brought her family a meal and drove her around when she couldn't drive...she made no call or offer. I called her after my surgery and she made no offer. About 3 weeks after my surgery I called her for a ride somewhere and she did take me. But, she didn't offer to give me a ride again. She lives one mile from me and doesn't work. Ironically, she had complained more than once that someone she drove around had not called or helped her during her surgery! It's hard do know what what goes on in someone's head. I had one woman friend, when she heard I was having surgery, called me and asked what she could do for me. She didn't even know what type of surgery I was having when she offered! Of course it would be nice if all friends were like that.

My advice is to call your brother or sister-in-law and ask for help on a specific task. Expect as much of your brother. Never note what others have done until after they have helped you. Then thank them, "Thank you for (whatever it was). Mother has been so helpful to me during this time too. (or someone else who was helpful)" Your comment is not meant to make them feel anything but truly thanked, but it also lets them know that they have been helpful as others have. They can maybe get some extra feeling out of it if they feel they are part of a larger effort. If you think it all went OK, then ask them again for something they can help you with if you will need more help.
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Unread 02-19-2008, 08:59 AM
Very heartbroken

I would agree that you should give them the benefit of the doubt--they may be waiting until you feel well enough. You could tell your MIL to let them know you feel well enough for calls.
I also agree that if they then don't do anything, you just can't spend time and energy on it. Most of my family has been great. One of my sisters, though, when sheheard I had a hysterectomy (and it tells you a lot that she didn't know before hand) just said in an email Wow, why? and hasn't written back in the --week, maybe?--since I replied telling her why. I just can't spend time bothering about someone who gives less sympathy to a sister than she would to a casual acquaintance. Fortunately my DH, kids, parents, other sibs and inlaws and tons of friends have all been wonderful. I focus on that.
Unread 02-19-2008, 09:14 AM
Very heartbroken


I understand how you feel!I have never had alot of lady freinds before, but now I do. Everyone before surgery was telling me how they were going to visit and bring meals, entertain the kids, adn help out. My MIL visited me on day 8 (she lives about 8 minutes away) and one neighbor visited last week and that has been it. One lady forgot I had surgery and reconmded me for a job! I felt real bad about it last week and it caused me to spend the day crying and feeling sorry for myself (that is very not like me). What set me over the edge will sound terrible, but here it goes- I have been in this homeschool group for 4 years and these were mainly the ones who were "going to be there" for me. No visits, maybe 2 calls, a job recomendation, and that was it post surgery. A new lady to our group had a child in the hospital (I know that is why I am terrible for feeling this way) everyone rushed to her side, dropped what they are doing set up a schedule to visit often so she doesn't feel alone. When they called me about visiting I said sorry I still can't drive yet from my MAJOR SURGERY! All the time durning my recovery I have been planning our groups Valentine party for 50 kids! I guess I still feel a bit hurt. I feel guiilty for feeling this way, I have been in email contact with them mom of the sick kid and had my kidos send cards. So I am trying to be supprortive but I guess I would have liked a little of that support myself. Sorry to whine, but it just hurts when you expect more concern for your condition and it doesn't happen.

My grandmother just saw me this weekend, was she concerned for me?....No, she was more concerned for my Aunt who was up set that I didn't feel like getting together with her for Christmas. I said she will just have to get over it, I didn't feel well enough before surgery to entertain! People just don't get it!
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Unread 02-19-2008, 10:22 AM
Very heartbroken

Sounds like we expect more of women but are being disappointed. I was disappointed that some good friends didn't make any effort. Women usually are the caregivers and should have empathy for each other in these situations. They came through for a child, but not for another woman. (Tammy's email)

When I brought a meal and drove a woman around after her surgery, I didn't know her but a month or so. I was a new member to a group and when people suggested we bring her family meals. I suggested to one of her long time friends to have people sign up for meals and organize the dates via emails and phone calls. It made people commit or people would have been too busy when the time came. There's no reason why the recipient can't make such a suggestion when the offer is made-pick a friend to organize. One might also suggest meals that work for the family.
Unread 02-19-2008, 11:02 AM
Very heartbroken

Another thought other than the fact that they may not want to bother your while you are healing is that some people will look at a hysterctomy as a very personal thing. They may not know what to say and might be afraid of not knowing how to respond to issues that you are having. For those lady friends that have already been though this surgery, it may be as simple as them not wanting to be reminded of what they went through or they may have not wanted anyone bothering them so they are trying to not bother you more than necessary. And some people are just so caught up in their own busy lives that they worry that if they call, they might be asked to do something that would take time away from something else they need to do. I actually heard a friend of mine say that when I had asked one day if she had called a mutual friend that had surgery. Needless to say, she sure hasn't called me and she never came to see me in the hospital. Still love her and I just realize that is one of her downfalls. We really can tend to be a selfish species.
Unread 02-19-2008, 04:40 PM
Very heartbroken

Just last week, I lost my step-papa to cancer. A few days before he died, my sister-in-law called me to ask what she could/should do to help. I told her the best person to ask was my mother. She said "well, I am just the daughter-in-law and I'm not sure if I am intruding." WHAT?!? I said "Papa has been in our life for 25 years, you have been married to my brother for 18, why would you feel that way?"

She just felt that this was a very private thing to go through for us kids and my mom. I had to assure her that she was so much a part of the family and never to feel that way. LOL!! She didn't call me or see me either while in the hosptial or at home...maybe I know why now.

We just never know what someone is thinking,


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